Research on fibromyalgia goes in so many directions that many medical conditions are now linked to fibromyalgia. Here are 8 possible causes of fibromyalgia you didn’t know.
Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
Our gut host a complex ecology of microorganisms, which includes a thousand species of known bacteria, existing in equilibrium and harmony. Human induced factors such as consuming anti-biotics, overconsumption of sugar or an underlying medical condition can knock the system off-balance and result in SIBO. According to a study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, 100% of fibromyalgia participants, of a sample size of 42, were found with abnormal levels of lactulose hydrogen in a breath test indicating a presence of SIBO. SIBO exhibit symptoms not limited to indigestion, bloating, stomach discomfort and can cause serious malabsorption of nutrients and deficiency syndromes. Hence, maintaining a healthy gut is one step closer to fixing fibromyalgia.
Glutathione is an important anti-oxidant that plays a vital role in the human body’s detoxification system. Glutathione prevents damage done to the body cells by toxins such as free radicals, peroxides and heavy metals and promotes healthy immune system, nervous system, gastrointestinal system and metabolism. Under normal circumstances, Glutathione will be recycled within our bodies however, if we have too little GSTM1 and GSTP1, the two essential enzymes required in the process of recycling glutathione, we can be deficient in glutathione. Supplements of glutathione or its precursors can help with reducing pain, fatigue and symptoms related to toxicity and oxidative stress.
Mycotoxins are toxins emitted by mold. Humans are primarily exposed to mycotoxins through consumption of contaminated food; though less common, skin contact and inhalation or air-borne toxins can also be causes of exposure. Chronic exposure to mycotoxins as a health hazard has been generally understated in medical research but it is believed to cause harm to the skin, metabolic system, and immune system, disturb the process of protein formation and may be linked to cancer. Current mold testing has limitations as it only accounts for mold spores but not mycotoxins. Dr Meyers, a functional medicine practitioner and author of New York Best Seller, The Autoimmune Solution, suggest patients test for mycotoxins through a urine test for mycotoxicosis.
Yeast, particularly candida, resides in the digestive tract and women’s vagina. Candida is one of the healthy bacteria in the human body and it is normal when they are in small quantities as they assist digestion and in nutrient absorption. However, in an event of an overgrowth, candida can penetrate the intestinal walls and release toxins into the bloodstream resulting in ailments such as digestion problems, pain, brain fog and fatigue. According to Meyers, candida overgrowth is found in nearly all her fibromyalgia patients.
Mercury toxicity can affect the health of our nervous system significantly. It can result in symptoms such as cognitive impairment, mood disorders, headaches, fatigue, and multiple chemical sensitivities, autoimmune disorders, allergies, muscle weakness, paresthesia etc. The common cause of mercury toxicity is a diet which high consumption of seafood especially deep sea fishes. It was found that small amounts of mercury vapour can be emitted from our dental amalgam fillings.
However, whether dental amalgam fillings is a health hazard remains debatable with dental institutes arguing that the exposure to mercury from dental fillings is inferior to the amount consumed through our diet and environmental exposure. More recent studies suggest that low doses of mercury exposure can affect human health and the exposure to mercury from dental filling can be amplified especially during exposure to Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans or microwave radiation from cell phones. Fibromyalgia patients should get tested for mercury toxicity with a urine test and then consider removing mercury amalgam fillings with an experienced biological dentist.
Adrenal fatigue occurs when the adrenal glands are overworked and have trouble producing hormones particularly cortisol which help regulate stress response. This usually occurs when there is a problem causing stress to your adrenal glands such as food intolerances, bacteria overgrowth, nutrient deficiencies or toxicity caused by harmful substances within the body. The persistent stress to your adrenal glands can surface as chronic pain. According to Meyers, treatments that support the adrenal glands may help relieve chronic pain while determining the cause of the stress.
Gluten intolerance may be the underlying cause of 55 diseases yet, according to the Journal of America Medical Association, 99% of people with gluten intolerance remain undiagnosed. The reason why gluten intolerance lies discreetly in many because the symptoms appears to be non-digestive despite the problem being gastrointestinal related. The symptoms of gluten intolerance surface as body aches, brain fog, poor quality sleep, fatigue and depression in varying severity from person to person.
Many studies have found fibromyalgia patients to be deficient in various mineral and vitamins of which Magnesium, vitamin D, Vitamin B12 are most notable. Some patients are also found to be lacking in Malic acid and Calcium. According to Meyers, magnesium treatment has helped some of her fibromyalgia patients reverse fibromyalgia symptoms. People with fibromyalgia can an accurate magnesium levels examination by testing magnesium levels in red blood cells.
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- Young-Sang Kim, et al. Women with Fibromyalgia Have Lower Levels of Calcium, Magnesium, Iron and Manganese in Hair Mineral Analysis. J Korean Med Sci. 2011 Oct; 26(10): 1253–1257.